TOGETHER APART

This photo- and video project has been born out of the corona lockdown. It is a fruit of the crisis –the global crisis and my personal crisis. What you see is the result of two people witnessing four dance dates. I invited four of my local dance partners to improvise with me while being witnessed by two cameras. As these dance partners are also my friends, I was interested in how each dance would unfold and how aspects of each relationship would come into the foreground. Afterwards, I asked four musicians from the region to compose and produce soundtracks for the videos, so that each of the witnessed dances would have its own music. My vision was to keep the project as local as possible and to involve mainly artists, friends and colleagues from the region to create an opportunity for all of us to do what we love in these crazy times. So, almost everybody who was part of the project lives in, around or close to Witzenhausen: my four dance partners Niklas Heiland, Katja-Bahini Mangold, Ellie Erdman and Pauline Reichardt; videographer Barak Ben Dov; photographer Oliver Stein as well as the musicians Kaya Martischius, Jörn Berger, Andres Codon, Philip Miller, Joachim Berchthold, ChrisTala and Peter Krug. Even though all of us have been temporarily separated from each other and our community`s we found a way to come together, to move and create locally in a corona conformed way. What a wonderful moment to celebrate the creativity in our region! Thanks to everybody who was involved and who made this project possible. Special thanks to the Hessische Kulturstiftung who supported the project financially as part of the Kulturpaket II: Perspektiven öffnen, Vielfalt sichern.

Where the idea came from?

Contact Improvisation has been my big passion and fascination since 2012. Sharing this love with others has been not only a great pleasure, but also my main financial income since the last four years. Through the corona pandemic I have lost most of my work as the contact and social distancing regulations made it impossible to use the central elements of this dance form: physical touch and shared weight. But not only did I feel this loss financially it also hit me on an emotional and personal level. As a person who loves to move with others and be in physical contact, it was difficult to not be allowed to do what I love most – although I understood why I had to social distance and I followed the rules. It felt pretty weird that what I feel called to do in my life became illegal. I was struggling with the little amount of physical contact and touch I had and was missing the community life. As the teaching itself had become part of my passion and identity as well, when that also ended, I was disoriented. So, overall, it was a hard time but also very precious. I understood how privileged I still was. I received a lot of support from my friends and colleagues but also from my local contact improvisation community, my family and the government. Thanks to everybody who was and is supporting me emotionally, financially and spiritually in these times. Especially thankful I am to have had four local dance partners and friends, with whom I met and danced one on one in these times. I am grateful for the friendship, love, care, playfulness and joy I experienced within these meetings. Being and moving together but apart from the rest of the world has given me a new sense of agency and independence in my dance practice which I appreciate. This experience brought me back to the roots of why I started dancing contact improvisation in the first place: it helps me to become present, to sense myself, to feel connected and it makes me joyful. It is just so nourishing!

Supported as part of the Kulturpaket II: Perspektiven öffnen, Vielfalt sichern.